Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Don’t Have To Be Right To Be At Peace! (Part 1)

Part 1 of 2
I remember reading a powerful, but brief, parable attributed to an Irish priest in the 17th Century Irish countryside. It went like this: “A priest went to visit a parishioner who had been absent from the congregation for some time. As they sat in the parishioner’s small cottage by the coal and peat fire, the older man began talking about how he didn’t really see the need for attending a formal service with the congregation.
“As he spoke, the priest gently reached over, took the fireplace tongs, and gently removed a small red-hot ember from the fire. He placed it 3-4 inches away but still on the hearth.
“Although noticing the priest’s actions, the parishioner continued talking about seeing the handiwork of God in all the lovely natural beauty throughout his small, verdant farm. As he continued opining, the priest continued to smile and nod. As well, the burning ember began to grow darker and darker around the edges as it cooled. In just several minutes, the coal ember was not glowing at all.
“The priest gently picked up the ember with the tongs and placed it back next to the fire. Shortly, it began to turn a deep orange around its corners, then throughout.
“The old farmer, eyeing the ember, suddenly stopped talking and said: ‘I get your point, Father. I’ll be at Sunday’s Mass.’”
I noticed this same phenomenon while we were away in New England. At times, I read a daily message in my Emmet Fox book, I read some passages in the Big Book of AA, and I read some in A Course In Miracles (ACIM). It was nice to have those resources, but it wasn’t the same.
After returning home and attending my regular AA meeting and our ongoing ACIM weekly meeting, I realized I was like the lump of coal – I had begun to get darker and darker around the edges while we were away and now, having returned, was getting the “glow” again.
As I sat in my ACIM meeting, feeling absolutely at ease and accepted – just as I am – with no overriding “shoulds” or “oughts” to be regurgitated among pleasantly polite adages spoken within the meeting, I was immensely aware of the love of the Master I felt present.
I truly felt peaceful, accepted, contented, myself.
Ahhh! Life is so good. The Course material is so right on.
Too bad others don’t know this feeling. I feel sorry for them. I’m so grateful I’ve progressed beyond fear-based religiosity.
Continued in Part 2

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